Burning Up

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Ashton Heights Fire, Book 1

Sami Lee

Chapter 1

Pam Spencer drove slowly down the street, searching for a parking space far enough away from the house her friend Erica Shannon shared with her two boyfriends so her car wouldn’t be seen. Erica was throwing one of her men a surprise birthday party and everyone was under strict instructions not to give any clues.

Pam could still hardly believe Erica had two boyfriends, not that you could call either Dale Griffin or Corey Wachawski boys. They were firefighters and just about as manly and buff as you’d expect men who fought fires for a living to be. Although their three-way relationship, which had been going on for eighteen months now, seemed so natural and beautiful, Pam still shook her head on occasion when the reality of it hit her anew. As a striking redhead, Erica had the looks to get a man’s attention, but she was also the shy, quiet type. Pam had no idea how she managed to snag herself two such fine specimens of manhood, let alone how she managed to keep them.

You wish you knew. Then maybe you could get a bit of that kind of action for yourself.

Pam laughed as she found a spot around the corner from the party house and quickly nosed in. Keeping men was not her strong suit, and she wasn’t much better at snagging them. At thirty-two, she was beginning to wonder if a stable, long-term relationship was in the cards for her.

Pam threw her keys in her handbag and climbed out of her Toyota. She started when a voice called, “Hey, Pammy.”

She turned to find Steve Waller walking towards her in the late afternoon light. Pam barely managed to stifle a groan. Figures the only spot on the street would be directly behind his car. Steve was a firefighter too, a friend and colleague of Corey and Griff’s. And he was a giant pain in her behind, a monkey in her wrench, a black fly in her Chardonnay. Pam was sure he only called her Pammy because he knew it annoyed the shit out of her.

Steve flashed her the smile that he thought was killer and gave her appearance the once over. “You’re looking good.”

Pam glanced down at her casual ensemble of blue jeans and a white cami top beneath a loosely buttoned black cardigan. Griff’s surprise birthday party was only a casual evening barbecue, so she hadn’t even bothered with high heels, instead choosing her black patent-leather ballet flats. “Yeah, right.”

Steve, of course, did look fantastic in a pair of jeans and a grey T-shirt he’d probably pulled out of the laundry basket. With his thick brown hair, firm, ultra-fit body and twinkling baby blues, he didn’t have to do a damn thing to look good. Bastard.

Steve rolled his eyes. “You try to give a lady a compliment.”

“It’s not what you say, Waller, but how you say it.”

“And just how did I say it?”

Like you thought one casual compliment would be enough to melt my knees. No way were her knees melting for Steve Waller. Yes, he was good looking and his swagger could be downright sexy if she let herself think about it, but she was not interested in being another notch on Steve’s bedpost. He acted like he could have any woman he wanted, and from what Pam had witnessed at the Sovereign Hotel—the local pub she and Steve both happened to frequent—over the past eighteen months, his confidence was probably justified.

Which made it all the more irritating.

Before Pam could launch into a speech about his attitude towards women, the passenger door of Steve’s car opened and Rob McConnell got out. Pam straightened hurriedly, trying not to look like such a slouchy grouch. With the curly blond hair that gave him his nickname of Curly and his broad, toned body, Rob was a golden god who made her want to display herself in the most attractive way possible. At twenty-five, he was too young for her, but she couldn’t help her reaction. It was pure instinct.

Rob smiled when he saw her, presenting her with his cute dimples. “Hi, Pam. Wow, you look pretty.”

Pam beamed, heat flushing through her. Talk about a knee-melter. Rob was one for the ages. She couldn’t imagine how many hearts the boy had broken. “Thank you, Rob.”

“Oh, so Curly gets a thank you and I get sarcasm?”

Pam sent Steve a sharp glance. “He said it the right way.”

“And what way is that?”

“Like he meant it.”

Steve walked between the cars and joined her and Rob on the grass. He looked down at her and for a moment she thought she saw something serious in his blue eyes. “I meant it.”

For some reason, that look made her heart jump. Why, she had no idea. She and Steve Waller had been trading insults at social events for over a year now. He teased her for resorting to online dating and she accused him of being a manwhore. The light-hearted acrimony was kind of their thing. The only thing she was ever going to have with Steve Waller. Her heart had no business jumping because he was looking at her like she was something he wanted to eat for dinner.

What was going on here?

“Jeez, woman.” Steve shook his head, breaking the momentary spell that had settled over her. “You’re painful.”

“And we’re back,” Pam muttered, turning away from Steve and smiling at Rob. “Robert, would you like to escort me to the party?”

Rob bent down a little to accommodate her lesser height and stuck out his elbow. “I’d be honored, Pamela.”

Pam giggled and hooked her elbow through his. They began walking the short distance to their destination. Soon enough, Steve caught up with them, walking on Pam’s other side. “Now you’re making me look bad, Curly,” he grumbled and stuck out his elbow too.

When Pam didn’t immediately take him up on his implied offer, Steve grasped her hand and curled it around his biceps. Hard muscle flexed beneath her fingers and once again her heart performed a gigantic leap. This time the acceleration of her heart rate was accompanied by a host of warm squishy feelings in her stomach and, shockingly, down lower.

She was turned on. Her panties were getting wetter with each step she took, and her nipples beaded against her cami top. Thank God, she’d worn a cardigan even though the late March weather didn’t really require one. One of the few advantages of being small breasted was that she could go without a bra most days, something she’d chosen to do today.

If she hadn’t been wearing her cardigan, all of Erica’s neighbors, not to mention Rob and Steve, would have gotten one hell of a show.

“Thanks for walking me, guys.” Pam’s voice came out raspy and she cleared her throat before she continued. “I can take it from here.”

But they wouldn’t let her escape so easily.

“It would be rude not to take a lady as far as she needs to go,” Rob said.

Steve chimed in with a droll, “I always finish what I start, Pammy.”

Pam had to fight to breathe. Was it her imagination, or where they speaking in innuendoes? Their words put images in her mind, images of having Rob take her as far as she needed to go while Steve finished her off, neither of which was improving her situation.

Pam had no idea what was going on. She liked Rob—had had more than one fantasy about being carried to bed in his strong arms. But they were just fantasies, ones she indulged in because she knew nothing would ever happen between her and the tall, godly blond. He was seven years younger than her for a start, and so good looking he could have anyone. What would he want with an ordinary-looking English teacher with a flat chest and too many freckles?

As for Steve…she detested Steve. Although her interactions with Rob up until now had been no more than friendly, Pam could understand suddenly finding herself in physical turmoil over him. But Steve? No way was she going there.

So it had to be Rob. Rob was turning her on. Yet…hooking her arm through Rob’s had been funny. It wasn’t until she’d found herself flanked by him and Steve that her hormones had run riot.

Oh dear, Lord. Did she want them both?

She let out a wry sound, something between a groan and a laugh. “Now I get it.”

“Get what?” Rob asked.

“How Erica feels. A girl could easily get used to this.” At their blank looks, she elaborated. “You know, two men. Double trouble. A bit of sandwich action.”

She’d meant it as a joke, a little humor to ease the tension. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she regretted them. It was an inadvertent admission that she was aroused, and when she saw a look pass between the two men, she knew they’d interpreted it clearly.

“I’m just saying. Not that I want that, but I can see why someone might go that way. That’s all.” Pam laughed, and it sounded awkward in the stillness of approaching evening. “I’m not making a pass, guys. Seriously.”

She was babbling. She was a giggling, babbling breathless mess and the guys still hadn’t said anything. They continued to escort her, continued to wind heat all around her as they walked. And she saw that look pass between them again, as if they were asking each other a question through telepathy.

When she glimpsed Erica’s place up ahead, she jumped at the chance to extricate herself from the embarrassing situation. “Look, we’re here.” She pulled her hands away from each man and increased her pace, putting distance between her and them. “I’m going to find Erica and ask if she needs a hand in the kitchen. See you in there.”

Damned if her voice didn’t rise three octaves on that last word.

Where was a great gaping hole in the ground when you wanted one to swallow you whole?

* * * *

Once inside the large open-plan house, Steve Waller scanned the group of party guests. It only took a couple of seconds to find Pam. She was in the gleaming stainless-steel kitchen talking to Erica.

Steve’s groin tingled again at the sight of her. She’d left her straight, pale-blonde hair out so it brushed against her shoulders, which he loved. Her grey-green eyes had the same over-bright look in them that they’d had outside and her cheeks were as flushed as they had been then too. No doubt about it, the woman was turned on.

“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”

He’d been talking to himself, but Rob, who’d followed Steve into the house, heard him. “What?”

“Oh. Nothing.”

Steve wasn’t going to admit to Rob that he’d been more than a little preoccupied of late with Erica Shannon’s slender blonde friend, a woman he’d given very little thought to when he’d first met her. He’d seen immediately that she wasn’t the type to be dazzled by a quick smile and a pair of impressive biceps, so he’d dismissed her as a possible bedmate and moved on to more willing women.

Yet sometime over the past few months, something had changed. Steve could only pin it down to a night at the Sovereign Hotel when Pam, Erica and a few other teachers from Ashton Heights High had come in for Christmas drinks. Pam had been wearing a slim black skirt, spike heels and a fitted red singlet top with lace trim at the cleavage. Until then, Steve hadn’t even been aware Pam had cleavage, but that night she’d worn some kind of wonder bra and wham, there they were. Her pretty little breasts all dressed up, inviting him to take a long, slow, appreciative look.

And he had. He’d taken a mental picture he’d never been able to erase. Now whenever he jacked off, it was Pam’s tits he pictured. Pam’s pretty face and full lips he imagined. In his fantasies, she gave him a come-hither look instead of the pissed-off one she usually wore around him. That expression, along with a lazy finger she’d circle around her nipple and the dirty words he imagined her whispering was usually enough to set him off.

He’d never even gotten as far as having fantasy Pam suck him off and he came every time. He had premature-ejaculation trouble in his fantasies. It was fucking humiliating.

“Good turnout,” Rob said, rousing Steve from his dark thoughts. “Still don’t think Griff is going to like it.”

“A surprise party for Griff? He’ll hate it,” Steve agreed. “But he’ll pretend to love it for them.”

Steve tilted his head in the direction of the kitchen, where Corey had now joined Erica and Pam. He said something to Pam that made her laugh, and the way she threw her head back and exposed the pale column of her throat made Steve’s gut draw tight and his loins ache. Then Corey leaned down and gave Erica a quick but passionate smooch, and the expression on Pam’s face as she watched them made something else hurt, something in the region of his chest.

Longing. The look in her eyes was pure, unadulterated longing, so raw and stark that Steve had to turn away lest the pain in his chest burn into a hollowness that made him long for things too, things he’d never wanted and didn’t want to want, ever. Like commitment. That wasn’t something Steve was after. A product of divorce and a subsequently fractured family, Steve wasn’t keen to repeat his parents’ mistakes.

He strode across the living room, making his way to the back deck and the tubs full of ice lined up against the wall of the house. He grabbed a lite beer, twisted the cap off and took a long swig. He’d downed a third of it before Rob joined him again.

“Do you think she meant it?”

Steve looked at him, decided to play dumb on the off chance the other man would take a hint and drop it. “Who meant what?”

“Pam,” Rob said, extracting a beer from the ice for himself. “Do you think she was serious about wanting, you know—” he lowered his voice, “—two guys. Us.”

Steve’s mind careened away from the possibilities. Whenever he’d pictured getting together with Pam, he hadn’t pictured sharing her. “She said she was kidding.”

“But was she though? I’m not so sure.”

Neither was Steve, but he wasn’t going to say so. “Why are you pursuing this, Curly? You into that sort of thing?”

“No. I mean, I don’t think so.” Rob made a face. “I wouldn’t know.”

Steve said “Ah,” and took another swallow of pale ale.

“What about you, have you ever…?”

“No,” Steve admitted with a smirk. “I can satisfy a woman on my own.”

“Yeah, well, so can I.”

“Don’t get snitty about it,” Steve drawled. “Just because I’ve never felt the need for a substitute during sex, doesn’t mean you should feel bad for not being able to go the distance.”

“Fuck off, Waller,” Rob said with a smile. The crew of firefighters at Ashton Heights station had a good rapport going—meaning they ragged on each other regularly, and it was all done with good humor. Steve talked as tough as any of the other guys, but the truth was he’d lay down his life for any of his fellow firies—Rob included.

“It was Pam who brought it up,” Rob reminded him. “She’s obviously into the idea.”

Yes, Pam had brought it up—the idea of a threesome. It was the first time she’d shown even the slightest interest in Steve sexually. It was definitely progress—in a different direction than Steve had hoped, but still progress.

Was this going to be his only chance with Pam?

He took another swig of beer, sending Rob a sideways glance. He had to think it would be awkward, sharing a woman with a bloke he worked with. But they shared a locker room at the fire station, he’d seen the guy with little more than a towel wrapped around his waist. How much worse could it be seeing him naked? He’d probably only look at Pam anyway.

At Pam, writhing in ecstasy as Rob kissed her naked body, as he played with her tits and fingered her pretty golden pussy. Would she extend her hand to Steve and ask him to join them? Or would Steve be the one kissing her, moving down her body, tasting her sweet juices while Rob stuck his cock in her mouth?

Jesus. His thoughts were making him hard. The idea of sharing Pam with Rob obviously appealed to at least one part of his anatomy.

“Well, if a three-way is off the table, I hope you don’t mind if I have a crack at her.”

Rob’s statement almost caused Steve to drop his beer. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Pam.” Rob frowned at Steve’s snappish reaction. “I want to ask her out.”

“You? You’re going to ask Pam out?”

Rob shrugged. “I like her.”

“A bit old for you, isn’t she?” Steve knew Pam was at least thirty, his own age, because they’d shared thirtieth birthday stories one night at the pub when she was a little tipsy and consequently less resistant to chatting with him. A woman in her thirties wouldn’t be into someone as young as Rob.

Would she?

“I don’t care that she’s twenty-eight.”

Twenty-eight? What the fuck? Steve hid his smile behind his beer bottle when realization hit. Pam had lied to Rob about her age. That was too funny.

As quickly as it had appeared, Steve’s smile slid away. It wasn’t so funny if she’d lied to Rob because she liked him. Did Pam want Rob that bad?

“She’s still older by five years. That kind of thing is important to some women.” At least Steve hoped so. Otherwise it meant he was competing for women with twenty-three-year-old puppies like Rob. He knew how far Rob could run on the treadmill, how much he could bench press. He also knew women went ga-ga over his soft brown eyes and curly golden locks.

He didn’t need that kind of competition.

If Steve wasn’t mistaken, he detected a blush on Rob’s cheeks when he confessed, “She thinks I’m twenty-five.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Steve muttered. Then he started laughing at the ridiculousness of it—Rob and Pam subtracting and adding birthdays to make themselves look better. He’d love to be around when they started talking number of sexual partners.

“Don’t tell her, please, Waller,” Rob beseeched. “She already thinks twenty-five is too young.”

Because she’s actually thirty plus, you numbskull. Steve could probably blow any chance Rob and Pam had of getting together by telling them each the truth, but something held him back from letting Rob know Pam was older than she’d said. He couldn’t bring himself to out her. Steve thought her little lie was silly—he, for one, found women his own age hotter than girls in their twenties—but it was her lie to confess to if she chose.

Steve let out a sigh. He couldn’t out Rob to Pam either. He didn’t play dirty. If he was going to win Pam, he was going to do it fair and square. “Fine, I won’t tell her,” he said. He held up a finger to silence Rob before the other man could thank him. “On one condition.”

“What condition?”

“We do this together.”

Rob’s eyes widened. “You mean…”

Steve smiled and lifted his nearly empty beer bottle to his lips. “I never said a three-way was off the table, did I?”

Actually, the more Steve thought about it, the more upside he saw to the idea. It would be wickedly sexy, if his body’s reaction was anything to go by. And it would ensure Pam didn’t read more into the situation than what was there. Steve was hot for her, had been for months, but he wasn’t ready to settle down. Pam was looking for true love. He only had to remember that expression of longing on her face when she’d watched Corey with Erica inside. She wanted adoration, commitment, the whole shebang.

There was nothing romantic about a threesome. It was all sex—raw, base lust. There was no way Pam would get the wrong idea.

In any case, it seemed Rob was the one she wanted. Steve figured this might be his only opportunity to slake his desire for the woman who’d kept him hard more nights than he wanted to count.

“Are you serious?” Rob asked him.

“Deadly serious,” Steve replied. “And I think it’s time we started talking strategy.”

Chapter 2

Okay, everyone, it’s time to hide.” Erica’s urgent announcement made each assembled party guest spring into action. Or should that be inaction, as the object was to stay as still and quiet as possible in the darkened living room while Griff came up the walk.

Corey turned off the lights, and Pam took a moment to let her eyes adjust to the newfound darkness. Then she found a spot at the back of the group, preferring to remain unobtrusive. She liked Griff and they got on well, but she was sure he’d rather see his closest friends from the fire service before he saw her. With that in mind, she figured Steve and Rob would head to the front of the pack, but to her surprise, barely a moment after she’d positioned herself, Steve’s familiar brash voice intoned in her ear. “You by yourself back here, Pammy?”

Pam bit back a groan of annoyance. Ever since the humiliating scene that had occurred as they’d arrived together, she’d been avoiding Steve and Rob. They hadn’t made it easy. They’d fetched her drinks and offered to help her with the job of laying food on the outside tables. When one or both of them wasn’t hovering around her, she had the oddest feeling that she was being watched. She’d turn and catch Steve’s eye and he’d wink. Or she’d find Rob smiling at her with his easy grin.

It was unsettling.

“I was trying to stay out of the way,” Pam answered Steve’s query, turning a little so her back was to him.

Right then, Rob approached her from the front. “You shouldn’t hide yourself, Pam. I like looking at you.”

Pam was struck speechless. She peered up at the shadow of Rob’s head that she could just make out in the dark. Although she couldn’t see his expression, she’d bet he was smiling that soft smile, the one that had made her think once or twice that he was sweet on her. But Rob—Golden-god Rob—sweet on her? It was a fantasy.

Yet the way he angled himself toward her, so his body heat set off tingles, was no fantasy. Rob was really standing that close, too close for comfort. Pam instinctively retreated a step, only to find herself pressed against a solid wall of muscle and sinew. Steve. Instead of taking a step back and allowing her some room, Steve stood his ground. He even settled a hand on her waist, as though to keep her in place.

Rob took another step forward until she was crowded by them both. Bracketed between two warm male bodies—nowhere to run or hide. Do you want to, Pam? Ever since she’d accidentally admitted her threesome-related musings earlier, she’d been having seriously debauched thoughts involving both Rob and Steve. She’d never had fantasies about Steve before, but she was making up for that tonight. She couldn’t stop noticing, with more than the empirical interest she’d had in the past, how aggravatingly sexy he could be when he was teasing her, how great his ass looked in his fitted jeans.

She had to face it—Steve turned her on as much as Rob.

Pam had wanted to talk to Erica about her confusing feelings, but her friend had been busy setting up for the party. Besides, even with Erica, who she knew wouldn’t judge given her own situation, Pam was embarrassed. In the end, she figured she wouldn’t have occasion to see Rob or Steve again until the next joint social event, so all she had to do was get through the night without further making a fool of herself and she could soon forget the whole awkward business.

A great plan, until the two objects of her wayward desires decided to press themselves against her, trapping her with their combined heat.

Pam wriggled a little, an indication that she’d like some space. But Steve merely tightened his grip on her waist. To add to her torment, he even pressed his lips to her ear, brushing a hot breath over it that made her shiver. “You feel okay there, Pammy?”

Her response came out as little more than a rasp. “I don’t understand.”

She feared that was a lie. She feared she did understand all too well what Steve and Rob had planned for her.

Confirming her suspicions, Steve whispered. “Then we’ll show you. Do it, Rob.”

In an instant, Rob’s large hand was bracketing her jaw. The next thing Pam knew, his lips were on hers.

Softness. So much softness. She should have expected it from Rob, the nice guy, but she hadn’t. She’d imagined him passionate and out of control. But this kiss…it was lovely. He brushed his lips against hers, requesting her compliance before working her mouth open. Too shocked by the turn of events, Pam didn’t resist as Rob slid his tongue into her mouth. Her heart pounded as he deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue over hers, stroking her waist…

No. That was Steve stroking her waist, Steve’s hand moving upward, and upward, until his fingers encountered the underside of her breast through the thin cardigan and silky camisole. Her nipple beaded, anticipating his touch. She wanted him to touch her there, to stroke her flesh to a hard point while Rob kissed her into a state of dreamy desire. She wanted it so badly, she arched her spine, writhing now not in protest, but in invitation.

“Surprise!”

The loud chorus that erupted from the assembled group startled Pam as surely as an electric shock. The lights came on and, blinking at the brightness, Pam saw the stark reality of their little tableau. Steve had her pulled close to him, so close she could feel the jut of his arousal against her ass, and his hand was closed around her breast, his thumb mere millimeters away from her nipple. Rob drew out of their kiss quickly, but with obvious reluctance. The full outline of his sensual lips and the acute longing in his deep-brown eyes made Pam’s heart thump hard against her chest—against Steve’s hand.

Dear God, they were in a crowded room. What on earth was she doing?

Pam pushed against Rob’s chest and twisted her body so sharply Steve was forced to release her. She darted a look around, but thankfully everyone at the party seemed much more interested in Griff’s reaction to his surprise than in her. No one had noticed her highly inappropriate clinch with two men.

Relieved about that at least, Pam let out a shaky breath. Pushing her hair back from her face, she at last mustered the courage to meet Rob’s eyes, then Steve’s. “I don’t know what that was, but it can’t happen again.”

“Why not?” The question came at her in stereo, uttered by both men. Rob was looking at her like a puppy that had been told he couldn’t have his favorite treat, and Steve had raised one eyebrow in an aggravating challenge. Frowning, Pam cast a look between them. “It just shouldn’t. It’s weird.”

Steve folded his arms across his chest and narrowed his eyes. “You think Erica’s relationship is weird?”

“That’s not what I meant.” At first she had thought that, or at least that a triad relationship like the one Erica had was unusual. That wasn’t a judgment, it was simply a fact.

But as the months had passed and Pam had had the opportunity to see her friend and her two lovers together, she’d come to see their union as the beautiful, uniquely special bond it was. It wasn’t dirty, it wasn’t weird, and it worked for them.

Yet Pam’s acceptance of her friend’s choice didn’t make it the right choice for her.

Your body seems to think it would be more than right, Pam.

Steve lifted a finger and traced a line along her jaw, causing tingles to radiate outward from that scant touch. “We’re not talking about moving in together. Only about having a little fun.”

Rob settled a hand on her lower back, close enough to her ass to make Pam’s pussy clench. “You admitted you’ve thought about it,” he whispered.

Why, oh why couldn’t she have kept her big mouth shut about that? She couldn’t deny what she’d said any more than she could deny she’d responded to Rob’s kiss a few moments ago, or that she’d arched into Steve’s touch, hoping he’d stroke her breast. She couldn’t deny what she wanted, so her only option was escape. “I’m going to go wish Griff a happy birthday, something you two should be doing instead of harassing me.”

With that, Pam strode off, heading towards Griff, Erica and Corey with a fake smile glued to her face. “Griff, happy birthday.”

“Pam, good to see you.” He sent Erica and Corey a sideways glance. “Did everyone know about this except me?”

“Just about,” Corey said, and hooked his arm around Erica’s shoulders.

Griff turned back to Pam. “I told them no parties. But did they listen to me?”

“He’s getting too old for parties.” It was Steve’s voice coming from behind her left shoulder and it was followed by Rob’s over her right.

“All he wants is a comfy pair of slippers and a newspaper these days.”

Griff narrowed his eyes at both men. “Thirty-eight will come around for both of you one day.”

Not for ages in Rob’s case, Pam thought, feeling it sink in that not only had she been involved in a clinch in a crowded room with two men, but that one of them was practically a boy. Seven years her junior. Although all that hard muscle pressed against her and that smooth way he’d kissed had screamed all man.

Pam’s temperature started to rise again as Steve, Rob and Griff exchanged friendly insults. Griff used to be their team leader, but now that he’d transferred to another station it seemed they had a lot of mutual ribbing to catch up on. It was all very manly and testosterone-laden, especially when Corey joined in and they started trading stories about recent fires and road-side rescues.

Pretty soon a fire was going to start right here in the living room. Pam was going to spontaneously combust and all four of them would have to put her out.

“Pam, are you okay?”

Pam turned to find Erica watching her closely, her forehead crinkled in concern. “Me? I’m fine.”

Erica raised one dubious eyebrow. Pam could understand the other woman’s disbelief. Her voice had been so high, it had sounded like a Minnie Mouse impression. Erica glanced at the group of men and the mystification seeped out of her expression. She showed Pam a knowing smile. “I think you could use a drink.”

Erica grabbed Pam’s hand and led her to the kitchen, where she opened the fridge and extracted a bottle of wine. She pulled two glasses down from the overhead cupboard and filled them half way. Pam took hers and gulped some of the sweet liquid. Then she closed her eyes and put the cool glass to her cheek. “I can’t drink too much. I drove tonight.”

“I’m sure you could find a couple of volunteers to drive you home.”

Pam opened her eyes once more to find a teasing light had entered Erica’s big brown eyes.

“Steve and Rob seem quite keen to cater to your every need.”

Pam groaned. “You noticed that?”

“I’ve been busy, but I’m not blind. And I recognize the wild look in your eyes. I saw it in the mirror a time or two when I was first getting started with Corey and Griff.”

“I’m not going to start anything,” Pam said vehemently. “It would be…”

Pam stopped herself from saying the word wrong, but Erica seemed to know where her statement had been headed. She took a sip of her wine before speaking again. “For women like us who were raised to want only the normal, traditional things, the idea of being with two men takes some getting used to.”

“Erica, I didn’t mean anything. You know I’m happy for you, right?”

Erica smiled. “I know. But if you think I jumped into a relationship with Corey and Griff without doing a lot of soul-searching first, you’re wrong.”

“There’s no chance of a relationship coming out of this…this thing, whatever it is. Curiosity, maybe. The fact that I haven’t had sex in six months isn’t helping.”

“Then what’s to stop you satisfying your curiosity?” Erica touched the rim of her wineglass to Pam’s and smiled. “And your horniness.”

Pam laughed into her own glass. “Are you trying to get me drunk so they’ll have to drive me home?”

“No, I recommend being completely sober the first time you have a threesome so you don’t forget a moment of it.” Erica turned the wine bottle around on the bench so Pam could read the label. “This is non-alcoholic wine.”

“Non-alcoholic? Some friend. What are you—pregnant?” She’d meant it as a joke, but the moment Erica’s pale cheeks flushed crimson, Pam realized the truth. “Oh my God. You are?”

Erica shushed her. “Don’t say anything to anyone. Griff and Corey don’t even know yet. I only found out today.”

Pam matched Erica’s low whisper. “I had no idea you were thinking of having a baby.”

“The boys and I have been trying a while, but I didn’t want to jinx it by telling people. You’re not mad I didn’t mention it to you?”

“Of course not.” Pam was too distracted by Erica’s mention of the boys to feel anything but an increase in her desire levels. What would it be like to have two men trying to get you pregnant, both of them having sex with you as much as possible to increase the chances of conception?

The answer was obvious. It would be freaking awesome.

What was she doing hesitating? Why was she pushing two hot firefighters away when they both wanted to show her a good time? Was she insane?

Pam put her half-empty wine glass down on the counter. “Congratulations, Erica. I’m so happy for you. I really am.” No one deserved a happy ending more than Erica, a woman who had lost so much.

Erica smiled. “Thanks. Now you go and make yourself happy. Don’t overthink it. Do what feels natural.”

If it was natural to want to climb on top of two men and go to town, Pam was in the mood to be completely au naturale.



End of Extended Sample

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